Thursday, July 26, 2012
Social Networks and Epics
Spontaneous order theory is primarily about networks. Hayek of course primarily talked about social networks: the catallaxy, common law, and money. Michael Polanyi discussed science as a spontaneous order. Both were talking about social network dynamics. Two Irish researchers have analyzed three epics -- the Iliad, Beowulf, and Tain Bo Cualinge -- and discovered that they have highly realistic social networks. Actually, they discovered that the Iliad has the most realistic social network of the three, while the Tain has a social network that more closely resembles the Marvel Universe. Interestingly, the Tain and the Marvel Universe seem to share the same focus on superheroes -- which makes one wonder what it is about superheroes that changes the structure of social networks. Epics and novels are certainly open to such analysis. There are a lot of opportunities in this kind of spontaneous order research in literature. Here is the original source of the paper. And here is the original paper.